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Houston Dentist - Dr. Kirk Speck D.D.S.

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Home arrow Dentist Articles arrow Porcelain a Modern Dental Miracle
Porcelain a Modern Dental Miracle

Along with so much of modern life, Houston dentistry has become high-tech. Lasers and computers have transformed the old Houston dentistry that our grandparents knew.

Besides this, Houston dentists have done a sterling job of educating the public, so that now most of us brush and floss regularly and go for our annual or biannual checkup and professional cleaning. This has greatly reduced our need for dental repair services and instead allows us to move forward into the area of cosmetic Houston dentistry.

The beauty of porcelain

Light interacts with our tooth enamel in a certain way, such that our teeth look pearly and have an attractive sheen. How does this work? Tooth enamel is translucent, meaning that light can pass through it. Light rays landing on our teeth pass through the enamel to the layer below, called the dentin. Dentin is a dark yellow color, and the light bounces off it, reflecting back to create that shiny white appearance. Teeth are not a flat white, but have depth to them.

In the same way, porcelain looks pearly and matches our tooth enamel astoundingly well. Light passes through the porcelain, bounces back off the dental bonding which attaches the porcelain to the underlying tooth tissue, and the result is that same attractive sheen.

Porcelain is rather brittle by itself. But when it’s bonded to a tooth, it becomes part of that tooth, and is very strong and durable. It’s also highly stain-resistant, since it’s a glass-like substance.

Dental uses of porcelain

Cosmetic Houston dentistry uses porcelain to enhance or repair our teeth in several ways.

1. Porcelain veneers – are thin shells which a cosmetic Houston dentist will bond permanently to the front surface of a tooth. The porcelain is chosen to match the natural color of surrounding teeth. This is a fast and effective way of addressing such minor but annoying defects as:

· Small gaps – by making two neighboring veneers slightly wider than the existing teeth so that they meet, filling the gap

· Slight crookedness – by affixing a veneer that is slightly thicker where the tooth recedes, creating an even front surface

· Stains, spots or small cracks – by simply covering the tooth with a well-fitted veneer

· Slight misalignment – by creating a veneer or several veneers with varying thicknesses such that the teeth now line up evenly

2. Porcelain crowns – are modern improvements on the old metal crowns. A crown is a custom-made cover for a tooth which has become severely decayed and needs protection to survive. Crowns can be made from

· Gold

· Metal alloy

· All-porcelain, or

· A combination of metal and porcelain.

A metal and porcelain crown has the metal inside it as a lining and is strong without looking gray like metal. But over time, a black line develops at the gum line where the metal starts showing. An all-porcelain crown looks just like your natural teeth and is permanently bonded to the remaining tooth beneath it, strengthening that tooth and extending its life.

3. Porcelain inlays and onlays – which are types of fillings made of porcelain that matches your natural tooth color. Rather than being tightly packed into the cavity, as the old metal fillings were, the porcelain is bonded to the tooth, giving it great strength and durability.

· An inlay is a filling which fits within the cusps of the tooth

· An onlay is a new surface bonded to the tooth to correct irregularities like sharp edges, and it covers areas outside the cusps as well as inside them.

By using porcelain, a cosmetic Houston dentist repairs your teeth and enhances their beauty at the same time.

“Cosmetic Houston dentistry is both an art and a science,” remarked Dr. Abraham Katz, Herndon, VA cosmetic Houston dentist, in a recent interview. “Good dental education can teach the science part, but the artistic part must come from experience. Porcelain is a superb material to work with, and when your cosmetic Houston dentist knows how to pamper your teeth with it, the result is a very happy smile.”